There’s never enough time to do all the things I want, so I’ve learned how to make the most of what I have, and that begins by knowing what’s important.
Tick, tick, tick
One of the key challenges for the chief executives I work with is making enough time! Of course, time is a finite thing and can’t be managed; what can be managed is our use of it. In other words self-management is the key to finding time for the things we need or want to do.
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I have noticed about time that the more we have to do the more we get done, so that means we can just end up in an eternal rat race, becoming more stressed and frustrated! I see a lot of CEOs in this predicament: with never enough time.
I think that the best way to handle this issue of self-management around time is to be clear about what is truly important to us, to take a clear look at what we want out of life and prioritise accordingly. This is what I find works best for me, so I have developed some tools for making the most of my time!
I look at my life in four parts: physical, financial, spiritual and emotional. Spiritual is most important to me – keeping my soul alive and healthy. This is not a religious thing for me as much as being about my inner vitality, my inner flame; my soul needs the beauty of nature, music, sunsets, walks on a beach to remain calm and centred.
These are some of my tools for spiritual peace – I do not need to go to church to find restoration for my soul – although sometimes a pew in a beautiful cathedral is a great place to find peace! I find it harder to work when my soul is troubled so working for inner peace is a key issue for me.
Many years ago, when I travelled extensively through Asia, I was always impressed by the calm and peaceful faces of the Buddhist monks in their saffron robes. I keep images like these in my mind to help me get back to inner calm and put some perspective on what is causing stress!
The emotional part is simply about interaction with others: family, friends, work colleagues and people at large. This is the great challenge: to interact with others in a positive and constructive way and not permit others to impose their negativity on us.
When our emotional connections are troubled, life is much harder: the human heart is more powerful than we think and for me the great challenge!
The physical part of life relates to health and fitness and is the easiest part of my self-management simply because I have made fitness such a habit that almost without exception I exercise every day because I am so clear about the benefits. This part of finding time is no challenge!
Financial: we all know there is nothing charming about poverty, so earning an income, making money is simply a necessity! To ensure that this part of my life is handled I constantly assess two things: how am I spending my income-earning time and how wisely I am spending/investing what I earn.
I sort of do audits on these four parts of my life pretty frequently and try to balance between them according to my priorities; the balance is rarely perfect but its makes life interesting trying to find it!
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